Reception house to replace 'Boracay Mansion'

By Janvic Mateo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 05 2013 07:41 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2013 03:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Quezon City government has started constructing a P90-million reception house that will replace the controversial “Boracay Mansion,” said to be previously owned by former President Joseph Estrada.

Mayor Herbert Bautista has given the green light for the construction of the new structure, which will serve as a guesthouse for foreign dignitaries and other visitors of the local government.

Bautista’s chief of staff Aldrin Cuña said the administration decided to construct the reception house to save funds whenever a foreign or local delegation visits the city.

Based on information obtained by The STAR, the city government has allotted P45 million for the first phase of the three-phase project.

The first phase, which covers the structural foundations of the reception house, started on March 1 and is expected to end on Aug. 28. The bidding for the next two phases has yet to commence.

Randy Valdez, assistant head of the city’s special design group, said the reception house will also include a museum about the city’s history, but added that it not be opened for the public and will be for the benefit of the delegation who will be housed in the building.

According to Valdez, the main building will be constructed on a 900-square meter section of the property, a small portion of the land’s total size of almost 7,200 square-meters.

The entire property – located at 11th Street in New Manila – has two titles, one with a lot area of 5,192.88 square meters while the other with 1,953.04 square meters.

The previous structure occupying the property – called the Boracay Mansion because of the white sand believed to have come from the world-famous island in the Visayas – is said to be owned by Estrada.

During his presidency, allegations were hurled at the former president for allegedly owning mansions, including the Boracay property, which he acquired while in office.

Estrada denied ownership of the Boracay Mansion, which had an estimated value of more than P140 million before it fell into disrepair.